Remember the thrill of discovering the surnames of your 3rd G-Grandparents? Or the maiden name of a long passed relative? We identify with our family surnames, don’t we? Whether a surname is the one that we were born with, married into or from a branch of the family we admire, it is a tangible link to our ancestors.
Surnames have a complex history. Most cultures didn’t have surnames until the mid-1500s. A few cultures had surnames earlier than that while others did not have surnames until the 20th century. Let’s explore surnames.
June is a fitting month to talk about marriage since it is one of the most popular months for weddings. A friend and fellow genealogist recently shared this marriage certificate site for Minnesota. I thought perhaps it might be an unknown treasure for many of you as it was for me.
Those of us who have farmer ancestors find a wealth of information tied to land records. If your ancestor homesteaded, you can request the homestead packet records from the national archives. In addition to researching homestead records, you can tease out some interesting facts from the Land Tract Records. Let’s look.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. We pause to remember D-Day as both the turning point of World War II and the immense cost of the war. With each anniversary of World War II, more and more of our veterans have passed and those stories and memories pass with them unless we capture them in our histories.
If you have a living relative who participated in World War II, spend some time with them learning their story. Perhaps you have letters, diaries, pictures or other documentation that you can use to write their story. If none of those options are available to you, you can still find more information about the experiences of other soldiers who had similar experiences or were perhaps in the same unit.
Thank heavens for people who are mechanically minded and can fix machines or invent new ones! As a relative helped fix a truant vehicle this week, this was top of mind. As you research your family and decide what information to include in your story, think about people in your branches who “could fix anything” and what you could write about them. There are some resources that will help you explore this slant.
With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.